Trails of Cold Steel 4 marks the conclusion of a saga lasting literally hundreds of hours. If you have also played the connected Crossbell duology and the Trails in the Sky trilogy, that playtime total may even be in the thousands. For this reason, you’ll want to ensure you don’t miss out on the definitive finale for Rean and Class VII. With NO SPOILERS, here is everything you need to know about the Trails of Cold Steel 4 true ending.
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How many endings are in Trails of Cold Steel 4?
It’s a fairly common theme for Falcom titles to feature multiple endings, and Trails of Cold Steel 4 is no exception. Here, there are just two endings – the ‘normal’ ending and the true ending.
How do you get the Trails of Cold Steel 4 true ending?
To get the true ending, there is a quest that must be completed before beating the final boss and watching the ending. The quest is mysteriously called ‘?????’ and is available in the final chapter.
This sounds a little complicated, but it really isn’t a problem. If you have not completed this quest before beating the final boss, you will view the normal ending and the game will then allow you to reload your save and teleport out of the final dungeon to complete the quest. Once you have done this, you can venture back to the final dungeon, beat the boss again and then view the true ending.
If you want to take care of business before beating the final boss for the first time (which is my preference as these quests are generally some of the best in the game), then you won’t actually need to beat him again. You will view the normal ending, and then be prompted to reload your save and simply watch the ending again, which will turn into the true ending. This involves another final boss fight, but is not a repetition of the boss you have already beaten.
With this second option, to unlock the quest you must complete all six optional quests within the finale chapter and obtain all of the lost arts dotted around Erebonia.
In the interests of reducing spoilers, I have left the details as light as possible, but the quests are found here:
- Talk to Stark on the airship to activate a card game quest
- Go to East Crossbell Highway 1 to view a scene, then go outside Hamel Road to activate a great quest
- Talk to Sandy in the sunny Spot Inn in Alster
- Defeat the monster in Einhel Keep (you can teleport right to the depths)
- Talk to people inside Diana’s shop in Milsante, put Juna and Randy in your party and then go to Tally’s General Store in Crossbell for another excellent quest
- Go to the end of Crossbell Highway 3 for a further quest
Meanwhile, the five Lost Arts are found by beating a cryptid in the following locations:
- In the entrance to Eerie Woods from 8/9 onwards – note: although this is the first of the Lost Arts, it is very difficult to beat until later in the game
- The second half of Bryonia Island from 8/20 onwards
- The centre of Osgiliath Basin, from 8/22 onwards
- On the beach of Auros Coastal Road 1 from 8/27 onwards
- At the top of Stargazer’s Tower from 9/1 onwards
These can all be beaten in the final chapter if you have not beaten them beforehand. If you are struggling with any of these battles, check out the below guide for some tips.
Once everything above is done, return to the ship and you will be contacted with the “?????” quest. After activating this, head to the end of Auros Coastal Road 2 to find a shrine that has a difficult boss. Beat him, and you will obtain an item that is automatically activated upon your second viewing of the ending, which in turn activates the true ending.
To reiterate, if you can’t be bothered to complete everything on the above list, you can simply beat the final boss which will allow you to reload, teleport out of the dungeon and dive straight into the “?????” quest. The only downsides of this are that you miss out on some excellent content, and you will have to beat the final boss twice.
How do you see the secret scene at the end of the true ending?
Even after obtaining the true ending, there is a final scene you can easily miss out on. This appears to be due to a glitch, but the absolute final scene does not play until you have watched the true ending twice. This is not to be mistaken with the brief post-credits scene that you’ll get the first time.
The secret, additional segment is something you won’t want to miss, so when you have seen the true ending once, reload your clear file and watch the true ending once again. You can skip through it, and when the post-credits scene concludes, another will play. I will not spoil anything, but be sure to keep it in mind as it’ll be a shame to forget.
Is the true ending missable?
Not really. You have to watch the normal ending first, and the game will then kindly alert you that a second ending is available. You are then given the option to reload your file from the point before the final boss, or from the start of the ending.
If you have already met the conditions above before beating the final boss, then you can simply watch the ending again which will automatically branch it into a different direction, resulting in another final boss fight and when you have beaten it, the true ending will play.
If you have not met the conditions above, there is no need to panic. You can load your file and instead choose to restart from before the final boss. Here, you will be able to complete the requisite “?????” quest and win the final battle again which will unlock the extra content and true ending.
Is the true ending worth getting?
Absolutely. Without spoiling anything, the true ending is the canon one. It offers a far more detailed conclusion as well as a little more gameplay in the form of a final, final boss. I’m not entirely sure why the Trails of Cold Steel 4 demands the charade of seeing the normal ending first, but it’s clear they do not want this to be the real end to the tale.
You are selling yourself short if you don’t spend the little bit of extra time doing what is needed.
How many chapters are in Trails of Cold Steel 4?
If you are still wondering how far you have to go until the ending considerations are relevant, note that there are three long acts, split into 9 chapters, plus a relatively short finale chapter. Act 1 is split into 3 chapters. Act 2 is split into 4 chapters and Act 3 is split into 2 chapters.
The game will easily last 100 hours or more, provided you don’t fast forward through the text. The requirements for the true ending all take place in the final chapter, so you don’t need to worry too much about this at earlier points in the game.
The Trails of Cold Steel 4 true ending requirements may seem a bit complicated, but Falcom has always been good at giving warnings for missable and important content, so you will not be blindsided. By following the above guidance, there should be no problem in obtaining the true ending and enjoying the end of the epic Cold Steel saga.